Air pollution: A significant cause of morbidity and mortality especially in many large cities of the developing world.

5088 Words May 11th, 2014 21 Pages
ESSAY TOPIC: Air pollution: A significant cause of morbidity and mortality especially in many large cities of the developing world.

ABSTRACT

Ambient and indoor air pollutants have been a major source of concern all over the world, especially in major cities of developing countries due to increasing need for transportation, industrial development and fuels for household uses by an increasing population of dwellers. These pollutants, which majorly include particulate matter and gaseous pollutants, cause significant morbid conditions ranging in severity from eye irritation to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases with mortality cases at extremes. The growing threat of these pollutants in the face of rapid urbanization therefore calls
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Transportation, industrial activities and electricity generation have been enumerated by authors as some of the major activities that introduce air pollution in Lagos-Nigeria and West African countries generally (Obioh et al., 1992; Olowoporoku, 2011). Hopkins et al. (2009) posited that emissions in Lagos are consistent with estimates for other developing megacities and are attributed to the evaporation of fuels, mobile combustion and natural gas emissions. The authors further maintained that these observations and the predicted future population growth will position Lagos as one of the most polluting cities in the world unless adequate policy measures are implemented.

China is another developing country that has been pointed to as perhaps having the worst air pollution level in the world (Kan et al., 2011). This heavy air pollution status has been reported to originate from the use of coal as major energy source, with coal smoke, suspended particulate matter and sulfur dioxide as the predominant principal air pollutants (Chen et al., 2011).

Figure 3: NOx emission sources in Beijing and in China.
Source: C.F. You and X.C. Xu (2010)

In Chinese large cities, however, with the rapid increase in the number of motor vehicles, Chen reported that air pollution has gradually changed from the conventional coal combustion type to the mixed coal combustion/ motor vehicle emission type. In Asia, increasing urbanization and per

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